As a result of the occupation of Azerbaijani lands by the Armenian Armed Forces, the energy infrastructure of the region was destroyed
One of the numerous fabrications of the invader Armenia is that during the Soviet period Azerbaijan did not pay attention to the development of Nagorno-Karabakh by pursuing a discriminatory policy. In fact, Azerbaijan paid special attention to the development of Nagorno-Karabakh, and the industries operating here occupy an important place in the economy of the Republic. The Nagorno-Karabakh was one of the most advanced economic regions of the former Azerbaijan SSR for the composition and level of development of industrial areas, production of agricultural products, and large energy infrastructure that was in line with the requirements of that time had been established in the region.
However, with the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts by Armenia, this infrastructure was largely destroyed or plundered.
There were 20 substations with a total capacity of 858.6 MVA (Shusha, Khojaly, Khojavand, Lachin, Gubadli, Jabrayil, Zangilan, Fuzuli, Kalbajar and Agdam) in 10 power grid districts of Karabakh region.
3 high electric power transmission lines - 330 kW line with the length of 81 km, 110 kW line with the length of 690 km and 35 kW line with the length of 615 km, as well as electric power transmission lines of 10 kW with the length of 6197 km and 0.4 kW with the length of 8865 km, and 2435 transformers with the total capacity of 254.7 MVA existed in those territories.
At the same time, 2,000 km of gas lines and 34 gas distribution facilities operated there.
Once our occupied lands are fully liberated, the destroyed and plundered infrastructure will be more accurately assessed.
There is a great potential for the use of various energy sources in Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions
Karabakh is rich in renewable energy resources.
Karabakh is one of the main regions where local water resources are generated in Azerbaijan. 25% of Azerbaijan's local water resources, i.e. about 2 billion 560 million cubic meters of water annually are generated in this area. Major rivers of the region such as Tartar, Bazarchay (Bargushadchay), Hakari and other small rivers have great water energy potential. Some of these have been being used since the Soviet period, but it will be possible to use the major part in the future.
There were three large hydroelectric power plants in the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan, one of which - Tartar hydroelectric power plant was built in 1976 by in Tartar region together with the Sarsang water reservoir on Tartarchay river. The plant consists of 2 hydro-aggregates, each of which has a capacity of 25 MW. Sarsang is a water reservoir with one of the tallest dam in the country for the height of its dam (125 meters). Sarsang water reservoir provided irrigation water for about 125,000 hectares of 6 districts (Tartar, Agdam, Barda, Goranboy, Yevlakh and Agjabadi). In 1990, the power produced by the plant per annum amounted to 81.9 million kW/hour. The plant has been under occupation since 1993.
Given that there is no necessary technical service and the equipment used is outdated, first of all, it will be necessary to evaluate the technical condition and then to provide maintenance.
Other important energy facilities in the region are Khudafarin and Giz Galasi hydroelectric power plants. The area of "Khudafarin hydroelectric power plant" project that is located 1 km north-west of Khudafarin village in Jabrail District of Azerbaijan has been under Armenian control as a result of occupation of Jabrail district since 1992 and the construction of the plant on the Azerbaijani side has been stopped. However, the construction of the plant on the Iranian side continued. It should be noted that the plant is planned to consist of 2 hydro-aggregates, each of which will have a capacity of 50 megawatts.
The Giz Galasi hydroelectric power plant to be built on the Araz River is planned to consist of 2 hydro-aggregates, each of which is 20 MW, and the construction of the plant is continued by Iran.
The construction of the Khudafarin hydro-junction dam is almost complete, and the works in Giz Galasi hydro-junction dam are nearing completion.
Construction and use of Khudafarin and Giz Galasi hydro-junctions and hydroelectric power plants is regulated by the agreement signed between the two countries in 2016.
The liberation of Jabrayil region in October 2020, taking the state border with the Islamic Republic of Iran under full control is very important in terms of the completion of the construction of power plants on the Khudafarin and Giz Galasi hydro-junctions. These projects will play a special role both in the supply of electricity to and irrigation of the liberated territories.
Solar energy potential
For the amount of solar radiation falling on the Earth's surface, the southern plain of Garabagh – Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Zangilan regions are in the second place after the Nakhichevan AR territory. Here, solar radiation per square meter of horizontal surface is 1600-1700 kW·hour per year. The total solar energy potential of these areas is 3000-4000 megawatts. Once our lands are completely liberated from enemy occupation, accurate capacity calculation will be carried out through the installation of measuring observation stations.
Wind energy potential
In the mountainous part of Karabakh there are wide areas with an average annual wind speed of 7-8 m/s at a height of 100 meters. According to the information by Globalwindatlas.info platform, the average annual wind speed in the areas of Kalbajar and Lachin regions bordering with Armenia reaches 10 m/s. In general, the potential of wind energy in the mountainous areas of Karabakh is estimated at 300-500 megawatts. Once our lands are completely liberated from enemy occupation, accurate capacity calculation will be carried out through the installation of measuring observation stations.
Geothermal energy potential
In addition, there are 3,093 m3/day thermal waters in the territory of Kalbajar district and 412 m3/day in Shusha. Possible use of thermal sources for energy purposes will be studied after the relevant territories are completely liberated from enemy occupation.
There are also deposits of coal in Karabakh region. Thus, the Chardagli village of Tartar district has 8.5 million tons of coal reserves.
This article was originally published on minenergy.gov.az on 2 November 2020